Not for love of money, but of Humanity. "Greater is he who works for the good of all, then he who works for the good of himself only" ~ Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"- (NIV). I live in Singapore where the Emperor must not be disturbed.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Categorical response to 'THOUGHT OF THE MONTH- Top 5 reasons why we should retain the GRC system'[YPAP/ Fong Yoong Kheong
1) Ensuring Minority Representation in Parliament
As my calculations in 'Does Racial harmony really require the creation of 75 GRC parliamentary seats?' show, the 13 nifty 3manGRCs of 1988GE were MORE effective at 'ensuring minority representation' as compared to the clumsy GE2001-2006 ones, with the anticipated 2011GE being the worst (12.657% inferior to the 1988GE in this respect), Mr Fong must certainly speaking through both sides of his mouth in using the minorities as an excuse to justify the currently bloated GRCs at the expense of minority races- whose 1988GE promised strong representation has since been paired down by 12.675% in GE2011. (cf GE1988, GE2011GRCs are bloated by 78.023% much to the delight of the incumbent PAP government.
PS: (Your mentioned Canadian link for comparison [link] leads to 'elections Canada' website but nothing much in particular, I'd appreciate if you could please explain your link)
2) Economies of Scale
Blah blah blah, SMC can also later join together (you also alluded to this) to benefit from 'economies of scale'. There is no need to operate as a GRC to enjoy economies of scale.
That said, if Singaporean's consumption of goods and services is so great as to requisite benefit from 'economies of scale', then perhaps SG should really consider enlarging its political system into something like that of the US or Australian govt system where bicameral legislature exist along with more proportionate voting methods, both of which ensure more deliberation in parliament GRCs (Lower House) can then be focused upon local constituency activities and 'economies of scale'; bloating GRCs by 85.441% (GE2006 cf GE1988) isn't the solution.
You mentioned the death of MP Ong Chit Chung in this category but I question the utility of fewer MPs doing more work, would their effectiveness be curtailed, would the residents interest be curtailed, especially if it was the minority MP falling ill/ passing away. Could not a by election be held? U mean PAP politicians shudder at the process of elections,are PAP MPs fearful of the political debate which is ought to occur during by elections? Perhaps for by-elections, voting shouldn't be made compulsory for the public's convenience- for democracy should allow the individual such freedoms of choice- but that another topic for yet another day.
3) Electorate gets to vote Cabinet Minister
Haha, like such a big deal, actually it the duty of the MP that I’ve voted for to represent my interest by deciding the best fit for the cabinet. U PAP people are really getting too pompous and presumptuous. What remains telling in your statement is that the PAP is so confident of winning that they have even declared whom the ministers in cabinet are even before the election results are announced. Are PAP ministers indeed so honorable and indispensable that its an honor for the people to vote for them in elections? This imagery bring to mind MM Lee's May2009 description of the N Korean dictator Kim Jong Il as a “‘flabby old chap’ for a leader who prances around stadiums seeking adulation ”, perhaps “psychopathic types” wouldn't be too far a description for the YPAP author of this paper- written full of praise for PAP ministers.
The meat of the matter remains, why did the PAP necessarily escalate the proportion of seats taken up by GRCs in parliament from 39 (GE1988) to 72 (planned GE2011): a 78.023% increase whilst betraying the original intent of minority representation by a reducing it's effectiveness by 12.657% (GE2011 cf. GE1988) as my previous article 'Does Racial harmony really require the creation of 75 GRC parliamentary seats?'takes pains to show.
Has political partisan interest hijacked the original intentions of the GRC system of elections?
The electorate has spoken in 'Singaporeans want more say' [A1news, 02Aug2010]: “when it comes to political activities like policy making as compared to ten years ago”- more freedom in elections is the desire of the electorate so why is the PAP stymieing this end by unnecessarily raising the sizes of GRCs towards its sole oligarchic end?
Would racial minorities feel insulted now given that the original 39seats reserved by GRCs representing their interest in parliament in the 1988GE has since ballooned to 75seats for the 2006GE [see chart], minorities being the scapegoat for this need. Would the rest of Singaporeans feel so disenchanted with the severe reduction in SMCs by (75/84= 89.286% of all seats) that they might now blame and ostracize the minority races for being the cause of this 'inconvenience'.
Adding insult to injury of all Singaporeans would be 'Parliament amends Constitution to change NCMP & NMP schemes' [can, 26April2010] “the NCMP position is a unique feature of Singapore politics” that none of the opposition MPs supported as it only promises losing opposition candidates a notional parliamentary representation. I say, why not revert to the 3member GRC system of elections and use the NCMP scheme to top up the racial minority candidates to equate true population minority proportions. With an excess of half the parliamentary seats (like so in the 1988GE) being SMCs, what excuse then can the opposition give then for not winning any parliamentary seats? Where forth the need for the NCMP scheme to apply to (inappropriately) apply to the 'endangered opposition' species?
4) High Stakes Involved, so MPs Must Perform
High stakes for the PAP? You must be joking. With last minute electoral boundary declarations [wiki:gerrymandering#Singapore] I think that its the opposition with their smaller respective party sizes that is being disadvantaged in this case and given the unnecessarily inflated sizes of GRCs- 5-6 members, opposition parties would be hard pressed to form viable teams with campaign periods as short as 17 days after opening of the register of electors [wiki: SG GE2001].
PAP coat tail MPs are also expected to toe the govt line, after all, 'Singapore lifts whip on orchestrated parliament'[AFP 21Mar2002] :"'The free vote is given to them when they make a request, and the Whip will consider. In the past it was simply: 'No you can't even request'' he (Mr Wong KS) said." - it must be stressful for one to vote against one's convictions!
GRCs effectively price out new political parties (it takes time to garner new members). SM GohCT has since admitted that 'GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM' [ST 27 June 2006]. With PAP holding on to its (illicit) trump card of the bloated GRC at the expense of lesser/ newer parties developing, how could there be vibrant political debate in such a hegemonic political system?
5) Allows Renewal
Oh yes, how could a YPAP member not toe the same line as his pompous leader SM Goh CT who'd proudly announced that 'GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM' [ST, 27 June 2006]. Together with PM Lee's Freudian slip declaration that he does spend much time thinking about: “what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve this week's problem and forget about next year's challenges?”'PM Lee says countries worldwide respect and admire Singapore's proven system' [CNA: 03May2006 ] I'm sure YPAP member Mr Fong YK can expect a cushy job as a 'coat-tail MP' in coming GE 2011, there are still many 5 or 6 member GRCs to select from.
How about the Deprivation of the Chance to Vote?
The opposition were fixed by the PAP's GRC gerrymandering in GE2001, GE2006. They would remain so in elections so long as GRCs remain bloated. Many opposition parties are young, small and have little access to national coffers unlike the PAP that is able to direct national funds to its supporters. But I'm sure that they would get wiser this time. My following suggestion (appended next) is towards leveling up the playing field. There comes a time when fixing the opposition, buying supporter's votes, being myopic must end.
GRC not Uniquely Singapore
- according to 'ACE'- The Electoral Knowledge network, GRC system of elections aka Party Block Vote (PBV): As of 2004, PBV was used as the only system or the major component of the system in four countries Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti and Singapore.
03Dec2010: Categorical response to 'Top 5 reasons why we should retain the GRC system'
03Dec2010: Categorical response to 'THOUGHT OF THE MONTH- Top 5 reasons why we should retain the GRC system'[YP
03Dec2010: Response to 'Top 5 reasons ..(to).. retain the GRC system'
03Dec2010: Categorical response to 'Top 5 reasons why we should retain the GRC system'